Summer vacation plans may still be in the “wait and see” stage, but when we’re ready to hit the road or air, take our advice: safety always matters. Just as it’s important to protect our health, remember other priorities: home security, road safety and vacation accommodation safety.
Light’s on, but nobody’s home
Don’t think you’re fooling burglars if you leave a single light or two on for a whole vacation. When left on for extended periods, incandescent and even fluorescent bulbs can get very hot or make the fixture hot, creating a potential hazard. Consider investing in a motion-sensing outdoor lighting system and multiple programmable timers for interior lighting. Modern timers offer several settings, as well as a randomized setting, allowing you to create an illusion that different rooms are in use at different times.
Keep your eyes peeled and nose in the wind
While traveling or at your vacation destination, keep your eyes open for electrical hazards. Not every hotel room, condo and Airbnb you see online practices electrical safety. When you check in, note overloaded outlets, extension cords in use, outlets that get too hot, and the smell of overheated wires. Take precautions yourself. If too egregious, take the issues up with management to work out a solution. If management is unwilling or able to satisfy your concerns or refund your deposit, report them to authorities and move on down the road to a safer place.
Unplug all appliances and electronics that aren’t necessary while you’re gone. Leaving appliances plugged in increases the risk of something like an electrical fire that will go unnoticed. Power surges also can occur anytime. Unplug things like the coffee maker and the toaster (things you should consider plugging in only when they’re being used anyway), as well as televisions and home entertainment/electronic systems. Unplugging them is one less worry from lightning strikes should an electrical storm blow in while you’re away.
Stay in the car
Finally, while driving, always remember to STAY IN THE CAR if you should veer off the road and strike a utility pole. Power lines can fall and still be energized. If lines have fallen on or near your vehicle, the mere act of stepping from it can electrocute you. Warn others to stay back. Stay put until an electric utility responder tells you it’s safe to get out. If you come upon an accident involving power lines, warn those involved of the danger, and call 9-1-1.